Ideal Green Market, Dollar General offer elderly shopping hours

Ideal Green Market

Ideal Green Market Cooperative in Pequot Lakes and Dollar General stores throughout the lakes area aim to help elderly and immunocompromised shoppers get the supplies they need in a safe environment amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Ideal Green Market will open its doors 9-11 a.m. Wednesdays, beginning March 18, for elderly and immunocompromised customers. The store normally opens at 11 a.m.

Because the market is a member-owned co-op, Manager Megan Loukota said the early hours are a way to give back to members, especially because many are elderly or retired.


“I just wanted to open up a space that people could feel safe and comfortable in,” Loukota said Tuesday.

The store is fully stocked with meats like hamburger, turkey, chicken and pork from local farmers, along with fresh vegetables and other produce.

Loukota said she will continue the special hours every Wednesday in the coming weeks and may add more elderly and immunocompromised hours if the need is apparent.

Dollar General

Dollar General stores across the country and the lakes area on board as well. The business’s CEO announced the decision Monday, urging stores to dedicate the first hour of operation — 8-9 a.m. — every day to elderly and immunocompromised shoppers.

Stores will still be open to the public at that time, but other customers are encouraged to shop outside that first hour.

“We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices,” CEO Todd Vasos said in a statement Monday. “During these unprecedented times, Dollar General is diligently working to meet the ongoing needs of our customers and communities. We are proud to live our mission and provide customers with everyday low prices on the household essentials that are used and replenished most often.

Vasos urged all Dollar General locations to follow the recommendation. Stores in Pequot Lakes, Merrifield, Crosslake, Pine River and Little Falls confirmed Tuesday they will follow suit.

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THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .
Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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